There are some people, who bring a mixture of sparkle and strength to the table of life. My niece, Jenny Masterson Spethman is one of those people. Life has not dealt Jenny a perfect hand, but she has persevered anyway, and has come through every trial a stronger, more caring, loving, and faith-filled woman than she was before. Jenny is the kind of person who puts her trust in God in every situation, and doesn’t look to her own understanding in any matter. That makes for a strong woman no matter what life hands her. While Jenny’s life has not been without sadness…the kind that never leaves you, she has still managed to study to show herself approved of God, and to strengthen her faith. She will never understand all that has happened in this life…at least not until the next life, but she trusts God to continue to bless her and her family, and He certainly has. Jenny has also been a blessing to those around her, as anyone who has had a need can tell you. Jenny is someone you can always come to for help, no matter what the situation.
Jenny has a sense of style that is all her own. She knows the styles she likes, and she doesn’t really care if they are completely in style or not. Nevertheless, her style always works, therefore, making it in style. Jenny loves to dress her little daughter, Aleesia in adorable outfits and then takes lots of pictures of the two of them to show those who know them. You see, Jenny waited a very long time for her daughter. After three sons, Jenny and her husband Steve had a baby girl, named Laila, but she passed away just 18 days later. It was a devastating blow, but they chose to look to God and trust in Him, no matter what. Now, they have been blessed with a second daughter…a Rainbow Baby, who can never replace her sister, of course, but brings much joy to their world.
You might think of Jenny as a wimpy little girly girl, and while she is a girly girl, you would, nevertheless, be very wrong about her. Jenny is an excellent marksman. She and Steve have been gun owners and have been shooting for years. They have taught each of their boys how to shoot, and two of them, Xander and Zack have already passed the Hunter Safety class. Isaac isn’t too far behind them I’m sure, and in time, Aleesia will also pass the course. Those children have the benefit of a great firearms education, and could protect the family easily, if required to, as could their parents. People might think it a difficult thing to mix sparkle and strength, but Jenny really has no problem doing just that. Today is Jenny’s birthday. Happy birthday Jenny!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It’s been a fast year in the royal family. Little Prince George has wowed everyone he met. He is a sweet little boy who’s parents’ hands on style has proven to be pretty perfect for bringing up a happy and well mannered little prince. Every time I see his little smile I have to smile too. He is just so cute. We all knew that his handsome parents would produce a handsome little boy, and we were not disappointed. Prince George did not come home to the palace after his birth, but rather went to visit he mother’s family for a time…a very unusual event, and one that the royals really didn’t like. I suppose that like all grandparents, they worried, but this family worried about Prince George’s safety. He was, after all, a very famous boy…even before he was born, and that makes for possible threats to his safety. Nevertheless, while security was high outside, the family had their privacy inside.
Prince George is already a world traveler, having traveled to New Zealand and Australia with his parents at just 9 months of age…one of the youngest princes to travel abroad. Something that not everyone can say they did in their first year, but then Prince George is a special boy. He is the future king of England, behind his grandfather and his dad. He has many things to learn, and there is no time like the present to begin. He will be expected to act in a certain way, and smile even when he doesn’t feel like it. He will be expected to be at least tolerant of
the press, and if he is like his parents, he will do so with winning style. He will host many events himself, such as the opportunity he had recently, to have a play dates with some children at the residence of the Queen…who was away at the time. Not everyone could get away with that, but then Prince George holds a special place in the heart of the Queen. I don’t say he could get away with just anything with her, but maybe more than most kids could.
While he is still a baby, Prince George will soon have royal obligations like all the other royal family members. When you are a royal, people expect you to make appearances at different has a lot learn, but he has a while for that yet. Right now, all Prince George needs to do is show us the cute little faces he makes, and we’ll be satisfied. It’s always a bit sad to realize that before we know it Prince George…like all babies with grow up and those baby days will be long gone, but for now, we can enjoy his smiley face for a little while longer. In the years to come, Prince George will be an integral part of the royal family and their face to the world, but for now, he is very much a little boy, and I hope he gets some time to be just a little boy. Happy 1st birthday Prince George…my 18th cousin twice removed!!
My dear granddaughter, Shai, it seems like just yesterday that we were so excited about having a Leap Day Baby. Little did we know then, that our little Leap Day Girl would also be our only granddaughter. Time has flown by so quickly, and I can’t believe that at 4½ years of age, you are going to be graduating from high school. Like most kids, it seems like just yesterday that you were born, but while time has indeed flown by, you have managed to age much slower than most kids…not a bad thing for a girl, because as we all know, women want to fight age with everything they have.
All kidding aside, we are so proud of all you have accomplished. You have reached a milestone today…one that will change you forever. High school graduation is the real completion of your childhood. You are no longer a little girl, but rather a woman he has earned the right to make her own decisions and plans, and set her own goals. I can’t believe that this day is really here. You really should be just a little teeny girl…a real 4 year old, and yet here you are…a grown woman. You talked with me about your plans, and when I listen to you, I hear a wise woman. You may not know exactly where you want your life to go, but you know where you don’t want it to go, and sometimes that is as wise as knowing the destination. Your journey will take you step by step toward the woman you want to be, and as long as you let God lead you, you will have great success.
Though your plans are keeping you close to home right now, I still feel a loneliness in my heart, because in my memory files, I can still see the little girl you were, and I miss her. You had a way of ruling the roost when it came to your brother and your cousins, Chris and Josh…when you were little anyway. They have become much more your allies now…and your friends, not just your brother and cousins. I remember the times…not so long ago, when we painted your tiny little fingernails, and you felt so grown up, then you told me that mine were “a meth and I better fixth them” if they were chipped. You were a born shopper. As a little girl, you could not see the problem with that. You told your mom to “just sharge it!!” That was a statement that always brought us a laugh. You were the type of little girl who simply never saw the problem with things. In your mind there was always a clear solution…except when other people didn’t agree with your solution. Then, oh my gosh…we met the Drama Queen.
Now, suddenly…right before our eyes, the Drama Queen is drifting away. We almost never see her anymore, and in her place stands a beautiful woman, who is ready to take on the world with style and grace. You have such new found confidence, and with your take charge personality, I know that you will be successful at whatever you do. I want all your dreams to come true, but for the selfish part of me, I hope that your dreams won’t take you far away, because I would miss my girl terribly. We are so proud of the woman you have become. Words can’t fully express just how proud. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation my dear granddaughter, Shai!! Way to go!!
My grand nephew, Zack Spethman, who is the middle son of my niece Jenny and her husband, Steve, is a boy who knows what he wants. He has his own sense of style, and doesn’t like to leave the house until he is satisfied with how he looks…something that will definitely appeal to the ladies as he gets a little older. Ladies can’t resist a tall, dark and handsome, well dressed man, and Zack will fit that bill for sure. Zack likes to wear everything from casual style to suit and tie, so taking him places is an easy thing to do. He is also a very thoughtful boy, and is well mannered. If he were just a little older, I could see Zack really wowing the girls with his thoughtful style. He is a child who likes to hug and do sweet things for those around him.
Being the middle son, or middle child is something many kids don’t like, but Zack enjoys having an older and a younger brother, and the added bonus of a younger sister to make his life complete. He and his brothers, Xander and Isaac, are all boy for sure, and Zack is very good in sports, and loves most types of sports. He loves to get out and ride his bicycle with his brothers, but doesn’t mind a wrestling match with them either…sometimes even a middle son has to try to prove his superiority. But when it comes to his little sister, Zack knows how to play gently and always treats Aleesia with love and kindness…and protectiveness.
Zack is a very smart boy and is at the top of his class in school. He enjoys learning, and his curiosity about things around him shows in all his studies. That is something I’m sure his teachers appreciate. Zack, like all of Jenny and Steve’s kids, know how to behave in public. When we are in church on Sundays, you just don’t hear or see them acting up or running around. They are sitting quietly, listening to the pastor or Sunday School teacher speak. Today is Zack’s 9th birthday. I can’t believe he is 9 years old already. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
For seven years, Susan was the youngest grandchild of my in-laws. I suppose we thought of her as the baby all that time, but she really wasn’t. She was to be the youngest girl for the rest of her life, however. For some reason, that youngest girl status is unique, and she can be in a unique position too. When the older girls were coming into the teenaged years, and were very style conscious, Susan still didn’t really care much about all that. It’s not that she didn’t become very style conscious later on, because she did, but when the other girls were there already, Susan was still wearing what the other girls deemed a mismatched outfit, because the socks totally did not match the rest of the outfit. The girls have all laughed about this picture for several reasons. We have wondered what was so funny, because they were all laughing and not just the typical canned smile for the picture.
Susan tells us that the outfit she had on was her favorite at the time. I don’t know if that included the socks or not, but my guess is not. Kids change over the years, and now Susan is dealing with little girls who insist that they totally match. I have to wonder if that is a difficult situation for Susan, since matching wasn’t always her strong suit. I realize that her matching skills have vastly improved over the years, but it still has to be a bit trying when your girls won’t wear this or that outfit, because they don’t like the color of the top you picked out.
Seriously though, Susan is a great mom, and she and her girls do very well together, and have great times. I have watched her with them, and it is a loving, caring relationship. The girls love doing things with their mom, especially the girly things…or fishing as long as they don’t catch anything. Susan makes their lives special in all the necessary ways. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When Prince William married Kate Middleton, the world became enthralled with the hats that were being worn by the elite female guests. It was as if the hat was the only part of the outfit that mattered. I watched when Prince Charles married my distant cousin, Diana Spencer, but I don’t recall so much fuss over the hats the women wore. Maybe there was a big fuss, but it just wasn’t what stuck in my mind. This time, however, the hats were the most important part of the pre-ceremony coverage. I was never one to wear hats much, in fact pretty much never by choice, so I couldn’t see the draw they seemed to have on the people in England. I suppose if I lived in England, I might think differently, and I also suppose that some of my English relatives would think I was a bit on the rogue side, for not conforming to the style.
I would also suppose that my grandmother, on my dad’s side, might be inclined to agree with them, if she were still alive, because she came from the era that had American women dressing somewhat similar to the English women…right down to the hats. When I look and those hats, all I can think, is how in the world do they keep their heads from flopping over from the weight of the hat. Now, I know that some of the hats were very light weight, even though they were big, but there were still those hats that weighed quite a lot. And the styles…well, wow!! Some of those women carried half a garden’s worth of flowers on their heads. They adorned them with peacock feathers, fake birds, ribbons, and many other such items. You could tell a woman’s social status by the hats they wore. And both the men and the women looked at the hats the women wore, although the men probably looked at the hats less that the other women at the event.
It’s not that I don’t like the look of a fancy hat on a woman, and in fact, I think many are just beautiful. I just wouldn’t want to have to wear one of them, myself. However, on my grandmother, those hats had a way of looking stunning. I have always thought my grandmother was beautiful, and so petite. She had an elegance about her that made you stop and take a second look.You just knew that she and her sisters were women of class and style. They knew what was the latest style, and they knew how to look elegant in those styles. They wore stylish dresses, carried parasols, and oh, those hats.
I was watching a commercial the other day showing some of the new styles for elementary school kids, and older kids too I guess. The big news is that the kids will be wearing leggings with lacy skirts that look like the slips we used to have as a kid. Wild to say the least, but still, they are practical, especially for little girls who don’t care if they bend over and allow the whole world to see clear to China. The leggings under the dress become stylish and practical, especially in the area of modesty.
They also take me back to my own elementary school days, when the girls had to wear dressed. No pants allowed, except for certain special days, like track day or special PE days. Snow days did not fall into this category, however. When it was cold out, we could wear pants under our dresses, but they had to be removed in the hallway and hung up like a coat…now that was modest, right. Pulling up your skirt and pulling down your pants without allowing everyone to see clear to China, was not very easy, and the younger the girls didn’t bother to even try. I’m sure in today’s world, and maybe if our mothers saw how that went, they would have been appalled, but it was just how it was back then.
Many people hate the new styles as they come in, but then as they think about it, they like it or see the advantages at least. Looking at the latest look, I have to say that while it is a bit unorthodox, the little slip over the leggings is cute, and ultra feminine. The girls look quite girly, and he slip has gone from being a slip to being more like a Tutu. Maybe that is why they all want to twirl like ballerinas, and what could be more cool for a little girl than feeling like a ballerina!!
For every grandparent, there is the first. The child that came along and changed everything. The child who changed them from parenthood to grandparenthood. For my parents, that child was my niece, Chantel. She was…shall we say, a shock to our systems…not just my parents, but to her aunts too. It was not about being, not ready for her to come, it was about the kind of girl she was. Chantel has a type of beauty queen style…or maybe it was actress style. No matter, we couldn’t help but be amused and surprised at the same time whenever she started posing.
It always amazed me that this little teeny girl could have so much style, when I at 15 years of age was still feeling quite awkward. But style was as much a part of who Chantel was as the hair on her head. And she was so quick. She never missed an opportunity to show her style. The camera came up, and Chantel immediately posed. And she was just a little girl, but she was just doing what came naturally to her.
As she grew up, she never lost that sense of style, although the posing did change some. She is so photogenic, and has a beautiful smile. And her sense of style doesn’t stop with photos. It has carried into her home, where she pours out her beautiful style. I think there must be an artist living inside the woman she has become, but that isn’t surprising really.
Yes, that first grandchild can be so surprising, because they are usually so different from your own children, and yet so like them…or at least the child your kids used to be. Chantel is much like her mother, my sister Cheryl. They both had the ability to take the most amazing pictures, and they both have the natural sense of style in decorating. I guess I have to wonder why Chantel seemed so different from the rest of us…at least to me, because she was maybe the kind of little girl like what I always wanted to be…like my sister, Cheryl. They both always had it all together, and I always wished I had been able to be like that.
Today that little girl…that first grandchild, is a wife and mother, and still a very beautiful person, inside and out. She will always hold a special place in our hearts and in our family. Happy birthday, Chantel!! We love you very much!!
When my first niece, Chantel was born, my parents were so excited about being grandparents. Chantel was just so little, and still is for that matter. Her small size brought about the nickname that my dad came up with…Teensy. That name progressed into, or perhaps from teeny tiny, and then to little teensy, and teens (not to be confused with the adolescent). Maybe my dad just knew something the rest of us didn’t, because, Chantel has grown into a beautiful 4′ 10″ woman…and I do use the word “grown” pretty lightly, since we can all tell from my description that growing was not something Chantel excelled in. She is definitely vertically challenged, but that is the extent of her “challenges” in my opinion.
Chantel, always had flair. From the very first picture, you knew she was special. She was very much a girly girl. She loved posing for pictures, and is very photogenic as you can see. She loved makeup and bling. It was one of the things about her that made her fun. I don’t know, maybe we were biased, because she was our first niece/granddaughter, but everyone in our family was pretty taken with teensy. For much of her early life, she was like another sister to my younger sisters. She went a lot of places with them, and while they did fight some, they all had a good time.
Chantel is grown now, and many grandchildren/nieces and nephews have followed in her little footsteps. She has moved on to motherhood and one day soon I’m sure she will become a grandmother, although there is not big hurry for that. While she has become an adult, her flair for the beautiful has not diminished. She adds her special touch to every part of her life and the lives of those around her. She has a knack for interior decorating, and her home shows it. She has created a lovely home for her family…something not everyone can do. She could easily be an interior decorator. She is a natural when it comes to style. After watching her from birth to adulthood, I know that her sense of style is something she was born with, because it has always been there.
While Chantel can be as tough as the next woman when she needs to be, it is her sweet spirit that most impresses me. She would choose to love others over any other way of life. She has a kindness about her that is very endearing. Her smile and laugh can lift the clouds from a dreary day, and bring back the sunshine. She is as much a blessing today as she was the day she first arrived, if not more. Love you Chantel!!